Internist’s opinion about the Transformation Programme – Dr Katarzyna Jańska
Doctor, The Transformation Programme is addressed to people who are overweight or obese. What do these concepts mean? What is the difference between being overweight and obese?
Dr Katarzyna Jańska: Being overweight and obese are both associated with excess body fat in our body. The difference really depends on quantity of the fat. To determine whether we are overweight or obese, we use the BMI indicator. There is a special formula to calculate it:
BMI = body mass (kg) / height (m)2 (m)
We interpret the results in the following way:
18,5-25 is the norm, i.e. the correct state of health and the correct amount of fat tissue,
25-30 is overweight,
powyżej 30 – obesity.
Some also distinguish: second degree obesity (i.e. BMI of 35-40) and obesity that is life threatening (BMI above 40). This is a very serious condition that you really need to take care of, and start treatment.
What are the most common causes of excessive body weight?
Dr K.J.: From my observation, as a family doctor, in 80-85% of patients, the main reasons are excessive supply of calories and low physical activity or lack of it. These people eat too much and unhealthy foods – for various reasons.
Are there diseases that can cause obesity?
Dr K.J.: Yes, hypothyroidism or hormonal disorders of the adrenal cortex, excessive secretion of steroids. It needs to be mentioned that there are many autoimmune diseases, that are treated with hormones – and unfortunately these hormones also cause obesity as one of the side effects.
What is the relationship between weight and hormonal problems? Are hormonal problems the cause of being overweight and obese, or maybe the opposite: high body weight causes hormonal problems?
Dr K.J.: This is a bit of a vicious circle. Excess fat tissue disturbs the hormonal balance and promotes inflammation. It contributes to the development of hormonal problems and autoimmune diseases. One disease causes a second one, they are often related to each other. The effects of these diseases are treated with medications whose side effect may be … weight gain. And the circle closes.
So, by reducing weight, we can affect the overall health, stop or slow down the development of diseases, and start repair processes?
Dr K.J.: Unfortunately, often it is only bad health, progressive diseases, the need to take a large number of medicines, which puts us in a tight spot, and which makes us get ourselves together. I have been working as a doctor for a long time. I remember two patients, two men who came for check-ups and for preventive examinations. And in both cases the test results showed hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia and gout. The whole lot. Both men were obese. When they saw the list of prescribed medicines, they both asked what could be done to stop taking these medications. My answer was simple: lose weight. They decided to give themselves a specific time (one of them three months, the other six months) for weight reduction, and so they did. Their tests results improved so much, that there was no need for any tablets anymore.
How in medical aspects do you recommend preparing for the slimming process? Which doctor or doctors should one visit? What tests should one do?
Dr K.J.: Just go to your family doctor (GP) and ask for routine tests, ie. urine, morphology, lipidogram, which contains all cholesterol fractions, sugar (ie glucose), liver tests and possibly thyroid, uric acid. Uric acid for the determination of gout.
If the initial results of these tests are good, (because there are people who are significantly overweight or obese and their test results are within norms), I recommend that you repeat the tests once a year. If you have any irregularities, then you should carry out tests once every three months. If you reach the results falling within the norm, then every six months to a year. There is no need to do it more often, unless of course something happens, you feel bad, you have some side effects, some discomforts. Then you have to check it with your doctor. If you have a chronic disease, you should consult a specialist.
Can diabetics safely use the Transformation Programme?
Dr K.J.: Yes, remembering about constant checks of blood sugar, regular meal times and not to overcook products in soups.
Let us add that the principle of the Transformation Programme concerning drinking water and honey at bedtime does not apply to people with diabetes, insulin resistance or pre-diabetes. Can you think of any contraindications to slimming down with the Transformation Programme?
Dr K.J.: From the medical point of view, there are none. There is no disease that would completely prevent its implementation. The only contraindication is that somebody doesn’t like soups.
The Transformation Programme is not a diet, it is a holistic weight loss programme. It assumes not only the introduction of a new soup-based nutritional culture, but also the work on the psyche of the slimming person, which results in positive changes in various aspects of life. What do you think about this idea?
Dr K.J.: Stress affects not only obesity, but also the appearance and development of many diseases. The Transformation Programme is not only work with the body, but also with the psyche: it teaches healthy eating, hygienic, regular lifestyle, introduces a positive attitude and calmness. All these elements affect each other and are reflected in our weight.
The Queen of the Transformation Programme is a soup, a variety of soups cooked in a proper way, from well-balanced, healthy ingredients. How can our body benefit form eating such soups?
Dr K.J.: Soups are:
Source of essential nutrients,
Source of water – they hydrate us,
they are easy to digest, they don’t strain the digestive system,
they cleanse the intestines, relax them, which increases the absorption of nutrients,
they cleanse the whole body of toxins.
The Transformation Programme consists of four stages. The second one is Active Weight Reduction – at this stage we only eat soups, a portion of fruit, kefir, and we care about the proper hydration of the body. Is eating mainly soups healthy and safe for the body? How long can you eat just soup?
Dr K.J.: If soups are well-balanced, and are cooked according to the rules and regulations of the Transformation Programme, then you can eat like that all the time. I realise, however, that this is not what the Transformation Programme is about; this type of nutrition concerns only the second stage, and can be safely performed even for a few months.
The third stage of the Transformation Programme is a stage of Stabilisation. We introduce solid meals, so the calorie content of meals is increased. However, at this stage many people (if they want to) can still lose weight. How does it work?
Dr K.J.: There are two reasons:
At the second stage, we provide our body with stabilisation: we do not allow ourselves to feel hunger and we provide good quality food that satisfies the body’s needs. It stops the body from accumulating stocks, but draws from the ones it already has.
The second stage is also the time of introducing physical activity – along with the loss of kilos, our mobility increases, therefore we enjoy exercising, it becomes our habit. Movement makes us burn calories.
Many people ask why we do not eat raw vegetables at the second stage of the Transformation Programme – we introduce them only in the third stage. What do you think about this?
Dr K.J.: Vegetables are more difficult to digest than fruit, they contain less water. The fruit, in turn, not only provide fiber, vitamins, micro and macro elements, but also sugar – they satisfy the need to eat something sweet. And so their presence in the Transformation Programme is justified.
It happens that people who start slimming with the Transformation Programme complain about things such as:
frequent defecation, diarrhea,
Why do they experience those problems and can they counteract them?
Dr K.J.: These symptoms, although unpleasant, are natural and desirable because they testify to the process of cleansing the body of toxins, deposits and retained water.
Frequent urination is the result of proper hydration and frequent soups intake, with which we also supply water. Thanks to this we stimulate the kidneys to work, we cleanse the body and release the water retained in our body.
Diarrhea is a symptom of cleansing the bowels and the effect of eating easily digestible foods and increased hydration.
Constipation, in turn, can testify to a greater body’s need for fluids.
Headaches may, however, be a reaction to limiting the amount of sugar.
It sometimes happens that a person undergoing the Transformation Programme has a problem with hair loss. What is your opinion about this?
Dr K.J.: It may be a coincidence – twice a year, during the so-called the autumn and spring solstices, our body may be weakened, which may result in hair loss. I recommend to pay attention to the variety and the appropriate number of meals consumed.
If the problem is severe or does not go away, go to your GP and then (if necessary) to a specialist.
Women prevail among the Zupomania® fans. It is no wonder that the common question is whether or not the Transformation Programme can be applied while trying for a child and being pregnant.
Dr K.J.: Weight reduction, healthy, regular meals, proper nutrition of the body, which is what we are dealing with in the Transformation Programme, positively affect the state of health, hormonal economy and, consequently, also fertility.
You can safely participate in the Programme – soups cooked in accordance with the principles of the Transformation Programme are well-balanced – they provide nutrients necessary for both mother and child. You should always remember to do a medical examination every month and monitor your health.
Can you be on the Transformation Programme while breastfeeding, and is this way of mother’s nutrition healthy for both, mother and child?
Dr K.J.: There are no counter-indications. However, you should keep an eye on the child, check how it reacts to products, and modify the composition of the soups depending on the reaction you see.
Avoid spicy spices in soups, and in you daily portion of fruit, avoid citrus.
If in doubt, it is best to consult a pediatrician.
How does age influence the weight loss process?
Dr K.J.: After 40’s, our metabolism slows down, therefore we must put more work into weight loss, show greater patience and accept that the pace at which we lose weight is the best pace for our body.
In the case of older people, it is crucial to maintain health and good form – all this delays the aging process.
Can people with stomach problems such as ulcers and hyperacidity benefit from nutrition which is to a large extent based on soups?
Dr K.J.: In the case of these people, the soup – as a cooked, easily digestible dish – is just what doctor would prescribe. Solid products, especially those subjected to heat treatment such as frying, cooking, grilling, are more difficult to digest and have an irritating effect on the stomach.
One of the main features of the Transformation Programme is that it can be modified depending on the needs – including health issues. What advice do you have for people with particular illnesses?
High cholesterol, circulatory problems: be cautious with using animal fats.
Diabetic problems: sugar checks, regular meal times, do not over-cook soups.
Thyroid disease, Hashimoto: it is advisable to limit or exclude gluten and lactose in some patients.
Gout: reduction of herring, legumes.
Thank you for the conversation!
The advice above can not replace a personal medical consultation. The nutritional needs of individuals vary and depend on age, gender, health and lifestyle.
The above material is for informational purposes only.